Health And Fitness - The Emotional Self
What does the concept of health and fitness really mean to you?
When we talk about healthy living, healthy lifestyle and
health & fitness, it's easy to assume that it is in the context
of your physical health. Health and fitness however is as much
to do with emotional and
mental wellness, as it is to do
with healthy living or having a healthy lifestyle.
You'll recall that in a definition
of self concept, we discussed the importance and role of
your self concept in relation to your esteem self.
We also considered a rapport building
exercise to help you develop your 'healthy sense of self'.
To complete this series on 'self-concept', we're now going one step
further on this aspect of your health and fitness. That is, how you go about managing the different parts
of yourself and by that I mean, - when one part of you say yes to something, while the other part say no.
The 'Yes', 'No' elements in
your emotional health and fitness
I'm sure that many if not most of you can relate to the scenario
where you feel that 'one part of you want to do xyz, yet the other
part wants something else'.
This is a normal experience and can often indicate that you're
not fully in a state of internal rapport with yourself. Here's
an example of what I mean:
You're torn between dumping your fella or keeping him (that's
not very nice is it)! Never mind! (Sorry fellas it was the first
example that sprang to mind). You see, one part of you know
the relationship is going no where but at the same time the other
part of you cling on in hope of a miracle. Not to mention the
fact that you don't want to be spending Friday nights in on your
own since all your friends are settled in relationships.
What this indicate is a conflict between your
personal values (what you really want), your interests or your
goals. This can impact significantly on your emotional
health and fitness.
So, what do you do about it? In such circumstances, some women
will take the approach they perceive will lead to the least
conflict. This might often mean sacrificing what their instincts
tell them is the right thing to do in favour of the option that
will cause the least upheaval. However, this can be a false
economy because the impact on your emotional health & fitness
may far outweigh that of the perceived easier or safer option.
You might chuck your partner, which in your mind is the right
thing to do, but find that you're totally and absolutely lonely
and miserable on your own. On the other hand, if you decide to
hang on to him, you continue to endure all the stresses and
strains - the reason you wanted to end the relationship in the
Which part of you will decide?
Coping with the two
conflicting parts of your emotional health and fitness
O.k. You've made your choice but you're now beating yourself up
about your actions. You might also be prime candidate for winning
the 'I'm such a mug' competition you're running all by yourself.
Can it be that you're at war with yourself! What will that do
for your health and fitness?
If you have read rapport building and
completed the exercise: a definition
of self concept, you will by now be aware of the paramount importance of this aspect of your health and fitness. You
will have learned:
How to interact with yourself on an internal level
How to draw on your own ability to enter into a polite and
respectful self-monitoring and self-supporting dialogue with yourself
You will also be aware of how to sensitively enquire, reason with,
be fair and kind with yourself when things don't go according to
plan - (building rapport with yourself).
Achieving this level of health and fitness will help you appreciate and value that when
two parts of you want something different, that each part is only
trying to achieve something important for you. That is the
tremendous capacity of the human mind to do its utmost to ensure
your emotional health and
Quoting Gallwey, Jago et al refers to one of these well-intentioned
parts as 'Self 2' - (which is recognised as playing a
highly significant role in our internal dialogue). Further, that
'this internal voice tells us how we should be doing and what we
ought not to be doing; it exhorts and sometimes bullies us; it
frequently criticises, reminds and belittles us but it is, in its
own way trying to do its best for us'.
If you think of the above in terms of an exchange with someone
else rather than with your own self, you might well, on
reflection, rebuke yourself for having taken the moral high
ground and for being judgmental of them. To re-establish
rapport, you may apologise and try to see their point of view.
And this is exactly what you need to do with that moralistic
part of yourself - your internal voice, in order to
establish what it is trying to achieve for you. This is as
important for your own emotional health and fitness as it is
You may well find that the other part of you has some other
health & fitness agenda; may be it is trying to save you from
trouble, embarrassment, disappointment or pain. So treat it with the
courtesy it deserves; your emotional health & fitness
You can work to further promote this aspect of yourself by:
Listening and treating it with respect
Learn to sometimes run with it to hear what it has to say
rather than being bullied or giving in
At times you might need to explore other ways of achieving the same aims
Or you might need to listen more attentively and refocus on
the bigger picture - on what is actually going on around you, because it may be rather
different from what that part of you fears or foresee happening.
Your health and fitness is as much about managing that emotional
part of you, as it is about managing any other aspect of
your health. Learn to listen keenly to what is going on - and
especially when you notice you are giving yourself a hard time.
What are you saying to yourself? How are you saying it? What are
your reasons for saying it etc.?
Have you ever noticed that when you enter into a prolonged
internal dialogue over something that has happened, how you find
yourself saying something along the lines - 'I suppose it wasn't
so bad after all' or, 'may be I am being a little bit hard
on myself' or, 'it needed to be done'? This only happens when
you pay attention and invest some time in yourself. And, did you
not feel a whole lot better for it! Of course you did. Your
emotional health and fitness depends on it.
"What was an enemy has become my ally"
The information on this site is purely of educational value
and is not intended to replace your seeking medical advice. You
must consult your doctor over all your health concerns.
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